On Thanksgiving And Meditation – October 26, 2022 (325-326/365)

Living Daily In The Promises of our Lord – Conclusion

Facilitated & Discussed by Pastor Joedy

The grace of God and His promises come together. So if you believe in the grace of God, you ought to brace yourself to celebrate His promises fulfilled and being fulfilled in your life.

The Son of God came to serve and to lay His life down for many, as discussed in the Gospel of John. Unfortunately, we’re also naturally questioning this because we oftentimes ask, why are my prayers not being answered? The thing is, we ought to realize that while we are able to claim His promises, they are definitely also done in His perfect timing.

We like to serve Him, but again, we need to realize how He wants and likes to serve us, a Heavenly Father serving His children, taking care of them. This is certainly a privilege for us to enjoy, and it’s more or less the backdrop behind the promises He makes for us. Just like earthly fathers want to fulfill promises they make to their children, so our superior, Heavenly Father has superior intentions.

Fortunately, the reason for us to claim His promises is not our performance, but the finished work of Christ. It’s because of Christ that all God’s promises are ‘Yes’, and ‘Amen’.

Let’s take a look at the foundation of all God’s promises: Grace. It’s all based on grace. Everyone who is blessed understands that it is all through grace, and all through the established faith we have in Christ. Just as God’s promises to Abraham were based on His grace, so we can run to the throne boldly, for it is a throne of grace established by Christ and His finished work – this position, no matter how far we fall, is one we have permanently in Christ. It shall never change.

Before the Law was given to the Israelites at Mt. Sinai, He told them that He ‘bore (them) on eagle’s wings’; This is significant because of something we probably wouldn’t realize right away: The Hebrew words for ‘eagle’s wings’ also has a cross-definition meaning ‘lacerations’ and ‘blades’; It’s as if to say that we ourselves have been born in the finished work of Christ, as seen in His lacerated body nailed to the cross.

It’s a gift – all of it is a gift we can receive.

Just as it happened to Abraham by grace, so it happened to a good deal of other men and women of God – they entered into His rest. When they entered into His rest, they enjoyed, among other things, intimacy with Christ.

Ask, and receive, so your joy would be full and complete. Perhaps this is something for me personally, considering my present mindset which is pretty much wrought with frustration and anxiety. Fight for your rest in Christ. Do not give heed to the lies of the enemy and rest on the word of God, the Living Word of Christ, which is sharper than a 2-edged sword, one effective against deception.

Pastor Joedy brings up the story of the bleeding woman. She was bleeding for 12 years straight – instead of the usual 3-5 days monthly, she was experiencing weakness, loss of income from doctors, consequent stress. In spite of all this, there was one day that she heard of Jesus. Immediately she set off, in spite of all the shame she was feeling, saying, ‘if I were to hold the hem of His garment, I would be healed.’

It’s important for us to note that this said ‘hem’ had scriptures sown into them, as prescribed by the rabbis who wore those garments. Christ, being the Living Word, may or may not have had scripture written on the hem of his garment, but Christ took note of when the lady took hold of it – He felt healing power leaving Him, and she was immediately healed. It’s as if to say the lady held, not just a part of the scripture, but the garment of the living Word. The lady’s faith in Christ has made her well, and He made sure to let her know.

We need to exercise our faith in Him. What are the promises He gives to us? Declare them. These promises are suitable for every need in our life. What do we do with the Word of God?

Well, we hear it, for one thing. Faith indeed comes from hearing, and hearing the Word of God.

Pastor Joedy also suggests the concept of meditation – not as a work, but coming from the angle, the intention of celebrating and enjoying the promises of God for us, as stated in His word. Meditating on the Word is recognizing how the Word is not mere word, but Living Word.

There’s also the concept of thanksgiving, which Pastor Joedy wanted to drill down on – Giving thanks is key.

From the bleeding woman, we now go to the feeding of the Five Thousand. In Mark 6, we read the Word, and it says that Christ took the food offered to Him, looked to the heavens and prayed and gave thanks. He broke the bread and repeatedly gave them to the disciples. It wasn’t just one time that He broke bread, but He repeatedly gave it to the disciples. The bread did not multiply in the hands of the disciples; He gave the bread to them again and again to set before Him.

It was Jesus who was the Miracle Worker, not the disciples. He broke and gave the bread, and it was the disciples who passed them around.

Thanksgiving precedes our miracles. We’re reminded to let our concerns be made known with thanksgiving. And if we want to feed more people, we need to go back to the source in thanksgiving, again and again and again. Just as God kept giving thanks, so He had bread to give.

Jesus never tires, nor does He run out. The disciples ran out of bread to pass, so they went back to Jesus – and in turn, it’s His pleasure to give.

How many loaves of bread do you need? Christ has enough bread to fill you, and much more for you to bring home.

Speaking of bread, that’s what we do. Not only do we give thanks, but we would also do well to meditate on His word, again and again and again. It’s certainly not something we’re easily tired about. In fact, we give thanks to God, for as His mercies are new every morning, so His word is fresh for every day we live.

There’s always something new to gather and to chew on in the Word, just as the Living Word is always fresh and for us.

So again – thanksgiving, and meditation. In fact, I add, once you start, it’s unlikely that you stop.

And in our being filled, there’s much more for us to take away – and there’s much more for us to share for others to know and to enjoy; Just as you’ve been reminded to meditate and to give thanks, so we’re shining the light and sharing the same bread to others, that they would enjoy being filled, and that they would have much to share to others.

What a good and great God we have, indeed.

I was called to give my own sharing and feedback on what Pastor Joedy had to share, and I just had to, well, thank him also for reminding me. I was thinking about thanksgiving just as he was, thinking as he as about giving thanks before the feeding of the 5000, and I also pointed out that Christ gave thanks just before calling a risen Lazarus to come out of the tomb. I suppose I wanted to affirm Pastor Joedy and thank him because I was duly reminded from his point of view, validated that I was thinking the right things.

One other things I was grateful for, however, was how Pastor Joedy pointed out how Christ repeatedly gave out bread to the disciples, and in the process gave thanks repeatedly. I used to give thanks once – I’m reminded to give thanks again and again, until I’m full, and until I have baskets left over to share.

I used to meditate once. I’m reminded, just as we are hungry again and again, so we ought to meditate again and again, until I’m full, and until I have baskets left to share – which would eventually lead to others giving thanks, and others meditating as well – As we give thanks to God, and as we meditate on the living Word, so we enjoy, again and again, and so we have those within our influence to give thanks, and to meditate, again and again.

I shared about how I was more of a literalist and more of a realist these days… and I was reminded here, ever so graciously, of how Christ is truly the source and the center of all the miracles and the breakthroughs we’re needing to receive and to pass in our own lives. In our time of need, we ought to give thanks again and again. In our time of need, we ought to meditate, again and again.

While we wait, we give thanks. While we wait, we meditate. It’s all in trust. It’s us, saying that we wait on the One who knows everything, we wait on the One who has the perfect timing.

Christ vouches for us. We ask in His name, giving thanks and meditating on His goodness, trusting in Him all the way. In our living, moving and having our being in Christ, we do so in anticipation of Christ, waiting on Him; and it also works the other way around – We anticipate Christ and wait on Him, living, moving and having our being in Him.

Not an idle life. Not at all. We’re truly living as I have understood, and now am inclined to pass around – living in trust, and not in a sense that demands works, but out of celebration and a divine-inspired and written faith that inspires the works. It’s by this faith which we not necessarily work for, but one we celebrate, by way of simply giving thanks, as well as stopping, and thinking – meditating. It’s a faith that overflows by way of works, and works custom-designed according to how we are intimately designed by Christ, each and every one of us.

It’s a little cliche but I’m reminded of Don Moen’s legendary composition, whose lyrics I’m shamelessly going to share here for added impact and content:

Give thanks with a grateful heart

Give thanks to the Holy One

Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

And now, let the weak say “I am strong”

Let the poor say “I am rich”

because of what the Lord has done for us

Give thanks

I suppose the man was inspired by the Holy Spirit, and I say this only because it’s keeping true to what we’ve received this evening – for us to give thanks first and foremost. When we give thanks, God sees to it, in His perfect timing, that we are strengthened and enriched… and all if only to remind us of His goodness, as we have seen through Christ’s finished work for us. We give Him thanks, and we are confident about it, realizing that the salvation we received from God is timeless. Therefore, all that He does for us – and yes, even if we never realize it with our own finite minds and our flawed senses – all of it is done to the best quality, from the Best, in His best timing.

So if you’ve come this far and waded through all the drivel to come to this point, let me just go ahead and give thanks to God for you, and remind you to keep giving Him thanks, for all that He’s done in relation to what you would have Him do, that you would meditate and consequently find peace beyond understanding, knowing that you have been heard by no less than the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, whose pleasure it is to serve you.

Until the next post, God bless you.

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